Sometimes it happens to find yourself visiting a town without knowing what to do and see with your child.
But Reggio Emilia is the town of the Reggio Emilia Approach and will not disappoint!
Here is a simple tour to spend three days in Reggio Emilia with the whole family.
The Loris Malaguzzi International Centre is dedicated to the pedagogist who inspired the Reggio Emilia Approach, Reggio Emilia's world famous educational experience. It is a place dedicated to the meeting of those who intend to innovate education and culture. Inside there is an exhibition space, an auditorium, a workshop open to children and their families, and the Documentation and Educational Research Centre. Two steps inside, with a free or guided tour, will allow you to get to know the educational experience of the great pedagogist Loris Malaguzzi up close.
As we walk towards the town centre, we dedicate the second part of the morning to discover the Reggio Emilia museums that are most suitable for children. The Museums Palace, which hosts the scientific collections of Lazzaro Spallanzani, the augmented reality of the Regium Lepidi Project 2200 and the naturalistic collections of zoology, with many stuffed animals to admire, is certainly the most suitable starting point to discover the history of Reggio Emilia. Noteworthy is the famous Reggiano Sperm Whale, which has become an icon of the museum.
Another essential stop for children of all ages is the Tricolour Flag Museum, where you can rediscover the history of the Italian flag, born in Reggio Emilia on January 7, 1797.
We dedicate the afternoon to having fun outdoors! The Ecopark of Vezzano sul Crostolo is located about twenty minutes from the town and hosts animal species, from rams to ostriches, from hares to roe deer. Walking through the park's trails will be a pleasant discovery for adults and children!
As an alternative, on the Educational Farms’ website it is possible to book a visit to the farms of the Reggio Emilia province, to discover the work of the farmer and get to know the farm animals up close. As a third option, if we prefer to stay in the town, we can get to know Massimo Montanari's donkeys and walk in the green Rodano park.
The second day the alarm goes off early!
Visiting a cheese factory and discovering how the “King of Cheeses”, or Parmigiano Reggiano, is produced, may be an unforgettable experience for children, but be careful: the cheesemakers work the cheese early in the morning; it is therefore necessary to get up early in order not to miss even one of the different processing phases.
Bianello stands on a natural balcony in the foothills of the Reggio Emilia Apennines and hosts a XIV-century painting depicting Matilde holding the pomegranate flower.
Rossena is an extraordinary architectural jewel, perhaps among all the most beautiful and best preserved in the entire Matilde area. It stands on a volcanic cliff with a particular reddish colour from which it dominates a unique and unrepeatable landscape involving a large stretch of the plain and the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines ridge.
Canossa, of which only a few ruins remain now, is famous for being the scene of the famous Humiliation of Emperor Henry IV before Pope Gregory VII in January 1077.
The Castle of Carpineti has always been one of the founding elements of the fortified system of Matilde di Canossa. It was so important that when in 1077 Matilde decided to host Pope Gregory VII after the famous meeting of Canossa with Emperor Henry IV, she chose Carpineti; because of the Pope's presence it was called with some emphasis "the new Rome". You can decide which castle is suitable for you, but remember to check the opening hours!
After a regenerating lunch on the green hills of Reggio Emilia, one and a half hours from the Castle of Carpineti or about half an hour from Felina, you can climb one of the four giant sandstone beds in the province of Reggio Emilia. Admiring the landscape from the Big Sandstone Bed of Monte Fosola is an experience to take your breath away!
The following day is dedicated to the largest adventure park in Italy. With its 10 hectare area and over 220 different games for children and adults, Cerwood is the amusement park suitable for everyone. Access to the park is free and you only pay for the activities you want to do: 27 adventure trails with different degrees of difficulty, a climbing wall and a big jump area, archery, minigolf, playground for children, e-bike rental, environmental education centre ... there is something for everyone!
Finally, the afternoon of the third day is dedicated to the discovery of the incredible Pietra di Bismantova (Bismantova Rock), so iconic that it was also described by Dante in his Divine Comedy to associate it with the mountain of Purgatory.
The trail to the top is short and also suitable for children and, on summer weekends, the Pietra car park is served by a free shuttle bus that connects it to the town centre of the nearby town of Castelnovo né Monti. We have just enough time to go up and admire the panorama before it is already time to go. You return home aware that you have not been able to see everything, but with a wealth of experiences that you can talk about at school when you return from the holidays. Until next time!